New Report Claims Huawei Hushed Up Iran Business Links

Chinese telecoms equipment giant Huawei is under pressure again after a report revealed new documents which apparently show a concerted attempt to cover-up its links with a ‘partner’ business in Iran which tried to break US sanctions.

The firm in question, Skycom, is at the center of a US case against Huawei in which it accuses it and CFO Meng Wanzhou, daughter of the owner, of fraudulently obtaining US goods for its Iran business via Skycom.

Meng is the subject of an indictment on charges including bank fraud and wire fraud and is currently awaiting extradition from Canada to the US. She and Huawei deny the charges and claim that Skycom, which was dissolved inn 2017, was a separate business partner operating in Iran.

However, new documents obtained by Reuters reportedly show that Huawei did indeed control Skycom and desperately tried to split the two operations whilst covering up the relationship once it was made public back in 2013.

“In consideration of trade compliances, A2 representative office is trying to separate Skycom and Huawei,” one document reportedly said. A2 is said to be Huawei’s code for Iran.

According to Reuters, Huawei also installed one of its own execs to be Skycom’s general manager in Iran from March 2013.

The documents, written in English, Chinese and Farsi, are also said to reveal Huawei actively working to shut down Skycom’s Tehran office and creating a new business in Iran to take over contracts from the firm worth tens of millions of dollars.

The US indictment also alleges that Meng personally gave a PowerPoint presentation to HSBC, which opened both Huawei and Skycom accounts, in which she claimed it was merely a “business partner” of Huawei. The US alleges she deceived the bank in order to move money out of the country.

She was arrested in Vancouver in 2018, with a judge last week allowing the extradition case to continue, rejecting her lawyer’s argument that the charges against her aren’t crimes in Canada.

Infosecurity has reached out to Huawei for comment on the story.

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